Business Briefs – August 23, 2018

U.S., China Raise Tariffs in New Round of Trade Dispute

BEIJING (AP) – The United States and China have increased tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a new escalation of their battle over Beijing’s technology policy. The 25 percent penalties apply to $16 billion of imports from each side. The Chinese government called the U.S. duties a violation of World Trade Organization rules and announced it would file a legal challenge.

Russian Ruble Tremors Continue On Sanctions Fears

MOSCOW (AP) – The Russian ruble endured another day of turbulence Thursday amid the threat of further U.S. sanctions, but made gains after the Central Bank said it would stop foreign currency purchases. The ruble dropped by more than 1 percent in Moscow trading to almost 69 against the dollar, the lowest since April 2016, but recouped those losses to trade slightly up on the day at 67.8 as of late afternoon.

Fed Official: Trump’s Complaints Won’t Affect Rate Decisions

WASHINGTON (AP) – A top Federal Reserve official says she favors two more interest rate increases this year despite complaints from President Donald Trump that the Fed’s continuing rate hikes risk slowing the U.S. economy. Esther George, president of the Fed’s Kansas City regional bank, says she thinks two more rate hikes this year “could be appropriate” and says Mr. Trump’s comments won’t affect her policy stance.

Japan Official Says Trump Misunderstands Trade

TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s trade minister has told The Associated Press that President Donald Trump’s tariff policies reflect a serious misunderstanding of the importance of free trade and Japanese companies’ contributions to the U.S. economy. In an exclusive interview with The AP, Hiroshige Seko warned Tokyo might take “action” if the U.S. goes ahead with its threat to levy a 25 percent tariff on Japanese auto imports. He didn’t rule out retaliatory tariffs.

American Airlines and Hawaiian Cutting Flights to China

(AP) – American Airlines will end Chicago-Shanghai service and Hawaiian Airlines will suspend its only route to China in October. An executive at American says the flights were losing money. American will keep flying other routes between the US and China. Hawaiian Airlines cites low demand for flights between Honolulu and Beijing.